Early Surprise brought her stakes quality to Sunday’s featured allowance race and she did not surprise, cruising to an easy one-length victory.

With neck arched and feeling her oats, the 4-year-old mare from trainer Stacy Charette-Hill’s barn looked like a million dollars on her toes, going to the starting gate. When the gate opened, she showed her worth, drawing off to win by a full length in an allowance race for horses 3-years-old and older that had never won three races lifetime.

Early Surprise, a daughter of Hes Relentless, out of the Stoli mare Easy Downhill, was all downhill in every stride to the line in this victory. The heavyweight in the field at 1,380 pounds when she crossed the scales before the race, Early Surprise was made the wagering favorite at 2-1 odds, and deservedly so. The mare won the $87,000 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Distaff at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla., on Nov. 15 last year. She had not raced since then when she made her first start at Remington Park this spring on April 14. Despite that long layoff, she nearly won at first asking this year, running third, beaten only a neck in a similar race to the one she captured Sunday. She was the even-money favorite in that first race this spring.

Charette-Hill’s barn has heated up the past week, winning four times after starting the meet, winning three times in her first 84 starts. Jockey Cristian Esqueda, this mare’s regular rider, was in the saddle again Sunday and cruised to the win after breaking second in the field of nine competitors. Early Surprise’s winning time was :19.869 seconds over a fast track. She was the only one in the race to break the 20-second mark, earning an 89-speed index in the race.

Early Surprise earned $17,334 from the $30,725 purse and improved her record to nine starts, three wins, three seconds and two thirds for a career bankroll of $96,509 for owners Michael and Gail Ahern of Purcell, Okla. She was bred in Oklahoma by her owners.
Shy Kisser (13-1) finished second, another half-length ahead of third-place finisher Toby Dale (7-1). Lillie Langtry, the 2-1 second favorite, checked in fourth, a neck behind Toby Dale.
Live racing continues for three more days this meet, finishing off the final week with a Thursday-Saturday schedule, June 1-3. The first race is 6pm on Thursday and Friday. The final evening of racing, Champions’ Night, begins at 5pm. All times Central.

Tracked by more than 175,000 fans on Facebook and 10,700 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $320 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park features the 2023 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa season through June 3. Remington Park presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.